Year of Publication

1987

Date of Thesis

05-1987

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Subject Categories

Sports -- Safety measures; Orthopedic braces; Knee -- Protection

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of prophylactic knee brace wearing on physical performance as measured by selected parameters. The 10 subjects were members of the 1985 Ithaca College women's lacrosse team. The Cybex II isokinetic dynamometer was used to assess the performance of the quadriceps at two angular velocities (60 and 120 deg/s), and the Wingate cycling test was administered to determine anaerobic capacity. Additionally, blood samples were taken to determine circulating lactate levels before and after exercise. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed physical performance was significantly better (E < .05) under the no brace condition compared to the brace wearing condition. It was concluded that performance, as described by blood lactate production, peak anaerobic power, peak torque output at 60 deg/s, rise time at 60 deg/s, and time to fatigue, was decreased significantly by prophylactic knee brace wearing. Rise time had the greatest influence upon the multivariate difference, but there was no statistical evidence to support a significant effect of this or any other single individual variable. However, there was a tendency for all variables to show slightly better performance under the no brace condition. Given the lack of evidence from previous research to support a protective effect of prophylactic knee brace wearing and the current findings of impeded performance with brace wearing, there is little reason to support their use by athletes with stable knees.

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